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Adopting the GS1 Healthcare Standard

Gore believes that standards within the medical device industry are an important part of the improvements being made within the healthcare system.  For many years, medical device manufacturers have used a variety of different numbering systems for their products, which has been compounded by hospitals and facilities over labeling those products with their own number schemes. This variety of numbering systems lead to many devices having duplicate numbers within the supply chain and caused confusion and additional work for our customers and distributors globally. It is our belief that the GS1 Healthcare Standard offers a solution that can resolve that confusion by allowing automatic identification, traceability and data synchronization of medical devices throughout the entire global supply chain.

What is the GS1 Healthcare Standard?

GS1 is an international not-for-profit association with member organizations in over 100 countries. GS1 is dedicated to the design and implementation of global standards and solutions to improve the efficiency and visibility of supply chains globally and across industry sectors. The GS1 Healthcare Standard is intended to be a foundational framework for all countries to use as a starting point for identifying specific business requirements to ensure a common approach and understanding of key principles by users around the world. The GS1 system of standards is the most widely used supply chain standards system in the world.

What the GS1 Healthcare Standard Will Look Like for You

fBarcode comparison

Barcode After

Note: The format of the expiration date contained with the barcodes will be YYMMDD. The barcode on our product packages will be changing from HIBCC to GS1 starting in November 2013. Due to the shelf life of our products, we will have a mix of HIBCC and GS1 until old inventory is depleted or becomes expired.


GTIN (Global Trade Item Number)

The GTIN is the world’s most widely used identifier with global uniqueness guaranteed by the structure. These GTINs are provided in human readable form and also within the barcodes that appear on Gore Medical Products’ device packages. Gore’s 14-digit GTINs contain the identification of Gore as the manufacturer as well as the globally unique item reference number.

GDSN (Global Data Synchronization Network)

The GDSN is an automated, standards-based, global environment that enables secure and continuous data synchronization, allowing all partners within the healthcare supply chain to have consistent GTIN and GLN item data in their systems concurrently.

GLN (Global Location Number)

The GLN is a globally unique 13-digit number used to identify physical locations or legal entities. Locations can be a physical place such as a warehouse, a storage cabinet, or even a specific shelf within a facility. GLNs can also identify a legal entity such as a company or a division of a company.

GLN Chart

The Value of Using GTINs (Global Trade Item Numbers)

GTINs are globally unique, thereby providing a means to communicate throughout the supply chain in a common language allowing for accurate identification of products.  In the past, stakeholders in the supply chain often used proprietary systems to identify products, which created confusion by assigning numbers that no longer matched the product number issued by the manufacturer.  It also allowed products within the supply chain to have the same number within different systems.  Use of GTINs to identify products ensures that every medical device has a globally unique number which dramatically reduces errors within the supply chain, improves patient safety, and provides a clear method for traceability.

Supply Chain Advantages:

  • Improved inventory management by allowing for clear traceability throughout the supply chain all the way to point of use.
  • Removal of duplicate numbers in proprietary systems negates the need to maintain cross-reference tables for each location.
  • Medical products retain their finished good labeling from the manufacturer removing the need to re-label at any point in the supply chain.
  • Improved accuracy of product orders and invoicing.

Patient Advantages:

  • Healthcare costs can be managed more accurately.
  • Costly errors within healthcare facilities are reduced.
  • The ability to counterfeit medical products is challenged.
  • In the event of a product recall, medical devices can be located more efficiently throughout the supply chain all the way through the point of use.

For GS1 questions and Data Synchronization requests contact us at